June Marlene Harder Heller passed away on April 23, 2022, at her home in Rochester, MN. She was born in Mt. Lake, MN on February 16, 1955, to Harvey and Ella Harder. She attended Mt. Lake Public Schools, graduating from Mt. Lake High School in 1973. Throughout these years she was active at Bethel Mennonite Church in Mt Lake and was baptized there.
She went on to attend Hesston College, Hesston, KS, and then Bethel College in North Newton, KS, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Home Economics in 1978.
After her education, June worked for Production Credit Association in Windom for a number of years. She later had an opportunity to move to Pennsylvania, where she worked for an insurance company, and met her future husband, Paul Heller, who became the love of her life. Paul and June were married on May 19, 1990, at Bethel Mennonite Church.
Paul and June made their home in State College, PA, where Paul taught as a professor of Entomology at Penn State University. Later, June also was employed at Penn State University, working as an Administrative Assistant in the Physical Plant. The two of them traveled extensively during their marriage, the highlight of which was spending two weeks in New Zealand.
After Paul’s death, in 2010, she eventually decided to retire, moving to Mesa, AZ, for a year before returning to Minnesota. She decided to settle in Rochester, MN, where she built a new home and started a new life. She enjoyed taking ocean cruises with friends and took many trips including to Hawaii.
June had many interests including counted cross-stitch, with which she created exquisite works of art, taking her untold hours to complete. She was also a skilled seamstress, tackling the most difficult patterns. Her sewing machines were her pride and joy. One of them had computerized design capabilities that enabled her to create elaborate projects. At one point, she started a side business machine-embroidering customized shirts and other projects for businesses and special orders. June had a deep interest in alternative medicine and researched to find answers to her health issues. She also possessed a gift for designing homes which came in handy as she and Paul lived in several new homes throughout their marriage.
She loved books and was a voracious reader. Among her favorite pastimes were watching an assortment of movies and listening to music. Her tastes were wide and eclectic. One of her most prominent qualities was her marvelous and quirky sense of humor, often culminating in hearty laughter. She enjoyed visiting with people and had a keen appreciation of what made people tick. Her family was very important to her, and she was interested in what her nieces and nephews were doing in their lives, and their pursuits.
At the age of 67, June left us much too early, but she left us with many wonderful memories that continue to bubble up. She was preceded in death by her father, Harvey P. Harder, her grandparents, and her dear husband, Paul. She is survived by her mother, Ella Harder, her sister Faye Miller (Roger), her brother Lauren (Kathy), and nephews and nieces: Dierdre (Harder) Shetler, Zachary Harder, Fjaere Harder Nussbaum, Christopher Miller, and Katherine Miller. An open house Celebration of June’s life will be held on June 26 at Bethel Mennonite Church from 3-5 p.m for those who would like to come and share remembrances.